In a shocking turn of events, Tafari Campbell, a renowned chef previously in service to the Obamas, was discovered dead in a pond on the southern end of Martha’s Vineyard, according to statements from the Massachusetts police on Monday.
Aged 45, Campbell held a unique position as a personal chef for the Obamas during their tenure in the White House. At the time of the tragic incident, he was on a visit to Martha’s Vineyard, as confirmed by a Massachusetts State Police press release on Monday.
Campbell’s disappearance was reported on Sunday evening after an ill-fated paddleboarding incident. As per the police report, Campbell went into the water and, after a brief struggle to stay afloat, submerged and failed to reappear.
His plunge into the pond was witnessed by another paddleboarder who was in the area at the time, as noted in the press release. The unfortunate event led to an extensive search and subsequent recovery of Campbell’s body.
The Massachusetts Environmental Police made a grim discovery just before 10 a.m. Monday, recovering Campbell’s body from the Edgartown Great Pond, as stated in a police press release.
The operation employed a side-scan sonar from a boat to locate Campbell’s body, roughly 100 feet from the shoreline and at a depth of around 8 feet.
Barack and Michelle Obama, deeply affected by the news, released a joint statement to CNN, expressing their heartfelt condolences.
They recalled their first meeting with Campbell when he was a sous chef at the White House, praising his culinary talent, passion for food, and its power to unite people.
The Obamas described Campbell as an integral part of their family, fondly remembering him as a fun, exceptionally kind person who had an ability to lighten up their lives. When the Obamas were about to exit the White House, they requested Campbell to continue working with them, to which he graciously agreed.
With deep sorrow, the Obamas acknowledged the void left by Campbell’s passing.
They expressed solidarity with all those who knew and loved him, particularly his wife Sherise and their twin boys, Xavier and Savin.
At the time of the incident, the Obamas were not present at their Martha’s Vineyard residence, as per police information.
The investigation into Campbell’s tragic demise is being conducted by the State Police Detective Unit for the Cape and Islands District and Edgartown Police, according to state police.
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